A Preliminary Analysis of the Relationship Between the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program (TANF) and the Federal Disability Policy Framework
PURPOSE OF THE PAPER
To date, no conceptual framework exists for reviewing and determining the extent to which TANF, as interpreted by HHS and implemented by the states and local communities, ensures the effective delivery of services to individuals with disabilities consistent with our Nation's goals relating to persons with disabilities as articulated in the ADA.
The purpose of this paper is to use the basic conceptual framework of Federal disability policy described in a paper entitled Federal Disability Policy Framework: Our Nation's Goals for People with Disabilities (1999) as a lens or guidepost for identifying:
- existing Federal policies directing or encouraging states implementing TANF and related state programs to address the special needs of persons with disabilities, and
- issues for policy development, oversight, and implementation of TANF and related state programs at the Federal, State and local levels.
This paper is targeted at four audiences. First, this paper provides policymakers with a conceptual framework for designing and assessing the extent to which TANF reflects the Federal disability policy framework. Second, this paper provides researchers with a policy framework for studying the extent to which TANF reflects the Federal disability policy framework. Third, this paper provides individuals with disabilities, their families, and their representatives with tools that can be used to judge the adequacy of TANF policies and procedures developed at the Federal, State, and local levels from a disability policy perspective. Fourth, this paper may be used by administrators and service providers to design, implement, and evaluate the delivery of services to persons with disabilities.